Marshy trout scales
slough off onto our fingers
as our knives run
like sailboats through the skin.
Two days old, our fish decay,
fetal in our palms,
bellies agape and spilling
amber threads in swirls
across November-drenched pavement.
Your nose crinkles beneath
your wide doe eyes
while you say,
“You get points for this.”
Points for holding back vomit
and digging blood from my fingernails
and gliding a knife through tender vitals.
Points for pulling a hook out of an upper lip as soft
as a child’s cheek.
But nothing for the day we sat
in clouds of yellow leaves that fell and died
atop your car, drenched in rain.
The day you tried to tell me I was good enough,
admitting that I wasn’t really good enough for you.
Nothing for that time
when you drove away for good,
when I watched you, standing broken from the curb.
No reward for cracking myself open except your cool, brown eyes
and the way you said you knew me
when you didn’t,
when you left
too soon to know a thing.
A few days old, this “us” decayed,
fetal in my palms,
left me wounded and agape
atop November-drenched pavement.
This is a poem I wrote over a year ago, revised and played with.